William and Mary Law School

Bankruptcy Law Career Guide

By Fred Dingledy
Revised March 2013

Circuit City bankruptcy

Books, Guides, and Directories

Stuhl, Seth A. Vault Guide to Bankruptcy Law Careers, 1st ed., New York: Vault Inc., 2003.
Written by a bankruptcy attorney, this book lists the different types of positions available in bankruptcy practice, describes the type of lifestyle and cases a bankruptcy attorney might encounter, gives tips on finding a job as a bankruptcy attorney, and offers practice pointers to the prospective attorney.
KF299 .B35 S78 2003 -- Office of Career Services

Databases and Websites

WESTLAW: West's Legal Directory
You can search this directory by practice area and state.

martindale.com - Bankruptcy Law Firms by State, Province or Country
Page of the online version of the Martindale-Hubbell directory listing bankruptcy attorneys and firms in the United States and abroad. Site also includes searchable job listings.

Journal Articles

Berg, Emmett,"Bankruptcy Boom: Californians Going Broke Means Business for Lawyers", 28(9) California Lawyer 13 (Sept. 2008).
Brief article analyzes some of the reasons for the recent boom in business for California consumer bankruptcy attorneys.

Combs, Drew, "Two Years of Rain", 32(12) American Lawyer 79 (Dec. 1, 2010); and "The Top 25", 32(12) American Lawyer 80 (Dec. 1, 2010). Available on Lexis.
Describes law firms that got the biggest filings during the "bankruptcy boom" of 2008 and 2009.

Hanna, Janan. "Bankruptcy", 40(6) Student Lawyer 28 (Feb. 2012).
Brief interview with a corporate bankruptcy attorney describing the type of work involved and the workplace environment.

Kane, Sally, "Practice Insights: Bankruptcy", About.com - Legal Careers.
Brief interview with J. Andrew Rahl, Jr., the co-chair of Reed Smith's Commercial Restructuring and Bankruptcy Group. Rahl talks about getting into the field, skills needed to be a bankruptcy attorney, and tasks an entry-level bankruptcy attorney might get.

Stansky, Lisa, "Bankruptcy Law Combines Litigation and Transactional Skills", 37(2) Student Lawyer 8 (Oct. 2008).
Article featuring several bankruptcy attorneys talking about the types of work and related areas of law they deal with, and offer advice on how to get started in the field.

Taylor, Stephen T., "Bankruptcy Groups Grow to Meet Economic Slide but are Wary of Overstaffing", 27(5) Of Counsel 1 (May 2008).
This article examines how bankruptcy groups in law firms are trying to add enough attorneys to meet the recent increase in caseload without having to deal with overstaffing issues later on.


There are ABA, state, and local bar associations which may have special interest sections for attorneys practicing in the field of bankruptcy law. These bar associations and their special sections can be located in the respective bar directories. In addition, other organizations with focus on bankruptcy may be found in Encyclopedia of Associations (see below).

American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI)
44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314
tel.: (703)-739-0800
web: http://www.abiworld.org/
ABI is a "non-partisan organization dedicated to research and education on matters related to insolvency", with a membership of over 12,000 attorneys, judges, professors, and other professionals related to bankruptcy; members have access to an online membership directory. ABI publishes a number of journals and newsletters, briefs Congressional staff, and issues white papers and testifies before Congress; the Institute also sponsors an annual bankruptcy law student writing competition.

Commercial Law League of America (CLLA)
205 N. Michigan, Suite 2212
Chicago, IL 60601
tel.: (312) 240-1400
E-mail: info@clla.org
web: http://www.clla.org/
The CLLA is a creditors' rights organization with a membership consisting of attorneys practicing in the fields of commercial law, bankruptcy, and insolvency. CLLA has a Bankruptcy Section that publshes an irregular newsletter and submits position papers and testimony to Congress on bankruptcy issues.

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
2300 M St., Suite 800
Washington, DC 20037
web: http://www.nacba.org/
NACBA is an advocacy organization for consumer bankruptcy attorneys. Members have access to NACBA's listserv; monthly newsletter; and a document resource center with model briefs and motions, pleadings, and demand letters submitted by members.

National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA)
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D. C. 20004
tel.: (800) 633-6069
E-mail: narca@narca.org
web: http://www.narca.org
NARCA is a trade association of debt collection law firms and in-house counsel of creditors. It offers networking opportunities for members and engages in lobbying activities, and members may ask NARCA to create amicus briefs on their behalf and access NARCA's online library of briefs and model documents. The Association publishes a quarterly newsletter and has a listserv for members.

Photo: Associated Press